One of the first decision you will have to make regarding your future online webshop is whether you want a self-hosted or a non-hosted solution. It is a decision that you should think about with care, as it will have an important impact on the following operations.
Hosted Ecommerce Platforms
A hosted ecommerce platform provides you – in exchange for a monthly subscription – with all the elements that you will need to settle your online webshop.
- Security certificate
- Payment platform
- Website with designs to choose from and to personalize
- Shopping basket functionality
- With a hosted ecommerce platform, you won’t need to have particular knowledge or skills in programming or IT in general.
- Your only preoccupation will be the volume of your sales and you won’t have to think about understanding the functioning and the management of the platform itself.
- If you need help, online communities exist around ecommerce platforms, and you can ask them for specific needs that you may have (particular app, add-on…)
From 30 to $200 a month, depending on the functionalities you asked for, as well as the volume and the fees that you will pay on each credit card transaction.
The main advantage of these platforms is that, once that you downloaded one of them, you can hire a programmer so this person will be able to modify the platform according to your particular needs and desires.
The inconvenient is the complexity and cost to maintain the operations :
- First, you will need a hosting solution
- A SSL security certificate
- A qualified IT person
- Then, you will have to get a design – that you previously bought or that you had done by a designer integrated in the system
- Finally, if you encounter difficulties, you will have to solve these problems yourself, or you may have to go for IT assistance.